The environment of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni, currently in prison, has called for new protests for next Sunday, although instead of calling for mass mobilizations, he has proposed a new format with which he seeks to circumvent the threats from the Kremlin.
Leonid Volkov, one of Navalni’s main advisers, has asked the inhabitants of the big cities to lean out next to their home for 15 minutes at 8:00 p.m. and shake the mobile phone with the flashlight on, in a kind of ‘flashmob ‘multitudinous.
The message will be similar to that of previous protests such as those called on January 23 and 31, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the main cities to demand the release of Navalni, who had been arrested on January 17 after returning to Russia from Germany, where he had spent months recovering from a poisoning in August.
The mobilizations were also repeated on February 2, after a court in the capital reaffirmed the prison sentence imposed in 2017 against Navalni for a crime of fraud. Authorities and opposition movements have confirmed that thousands of people have been detained since the protests began.
The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, “has made fear his only weapon,” Volkov said on his Facebook account, from which he called to “overcome this fear.” “We have to carry out a protest that the riot police cannot stop and which everyone can join,” he said when announcing Sunday’s mobilization, according to the Bloomberg agency.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, has responded to this call by warning that nobody plays “cat and mouse”. “Without a doubt, all our law enforcement officers, in the event of a violation of the law, will punish the guilty,” he said in statements to journalists, according to the Sputnik agency.